What an interesting week in Alexandria. Here’s the rundown.

World champion sprinter Noah Lyles brought home his bronze medal from the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday. In a frank, TED Talk-like speech at Alexandria City High School, Lyles talked about the importance of mental health as he struggled to perform at the games.

“A lot of people will look at the Olympics this year like something was different with the athletes,” said Lyles. “Well, it was a lot of difference because we had so much weight that we had to hold onto — about two years. I was no different.”

On the COVID-19 front, while the transmission level remains high in Alexandria, this week the city tied with Arlington for the lowest seven-day positivity rate in Virginia. Large outdoor public events are still happening, too, and on Monday, a vast majority of local elected officials and candidates converged for the Alexandria Democratic Committee’s annual Labor Day Picnic, which included an appearance by gubernatorial candidate, former Governor Terry McAuliffe.

Important stories

Top stories

  1. Man arrested for spending spree after finding wallet in Bradlee Shopping Center parking lot
  2. COVID-19 Update: Alexandria ties with Arlington for lowest seven-day positivity rate in Virginia
  3. BREAKING: Pedestrian critically injured in Old Town car crash
  4. Mark Center development plans head to Planning Commission this week
  5. Alexandria Police union calls out years of executive mismanagement
  6. JUST IN: Suspects arrested after allegedly firing shots at Alexandria Police
  7. BREAKING: Video shows brawl at Alexandria City High School cafeteria just two days after school starts
  8. Mayor outlines upcoming plastic bag tax plans
  9. Village Brauhaus aims for rooftop expansion
  10. No injuries or arrests after shots fired in Old Town Sunday night
  11. Most expensive homes sold in Alexandria in August

Have a safe weekend!

Via Elijah Walter Griffin, Sr.

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Alexandria was spared from significant flooding this week after remnants of Hurricane Ida swept through the East Coast. The only flooding found was on lower King Street in Old Town, where businesses laid sandbags at windows and doorways.

“We’re open inside, but if you want to eat you’re probably going to have to come barefoot,” a hostess at Mai Thai told ALXnow on Wednesday.

Our top story this week was, for the second week in a row, on the recent brawl inside Alexandria City High School.

It’s a three-day weekend, and on Sunday the annual Old Town Festival of Speed & Style will bring crowds to marvel at classic and beautiful rides along King Street. Monday is Labor Day, and the city will operate on a holiday schedule.

In this week’s poll we asked how satisfied readers are with Alexandria City Public Schools since reopening on August 24. A majority (31%) reported being extremely unsatisfied with the school system, while 29% said ACPS has done a good job, 25% are extremely satisfied and 14% are unhappy overall.

Important stories

Top stories

  1. BREAKING: Video shows brawl at Alexandria City High School cafeteria just two days after school starts
  2. 13-year-old hit by car while walking home from school in Del Ray
  3. Fox put George Washington Middle School into a lock-in today
  4. Man arrested for spending spree after finding wallet in Bradlee Shopping Center parking lot
  5. No injuries or arrests after shots fired on Duke Street
  6. ACPS Superintendent Hutchings asks community to hit the brakes on email campaigns
  7. Alexandria man arrested for beating up ex-girlfriend in Old Town North
  8. Alexandria sees cases rise in August and warns of COVID-19 in schools
  9. Alexandria man convicted for possessing child porn and violating parole
  10. Historic Black cemetery under threat of being washed away in Old Town
  11. Man swallows two bags of drugs and runs from police in Old Town

Have a safe weekend!

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In the same shopping center where locally beloved Atlantis Pizzeria and Family Restaurant recently slipped into history and myth like its namesake, a new pizza restaurant has opened to fill the void.

Regional franchise &pizza announced on May 20 that its Bradlee Shopping Center location at 3690 King Street was now open — along with a kind of bizarre, rambling message about the “arch of history.”

The franchise offers a variety of dough, cheese, and topping options, including vegan options.

The restaurant is open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. every day.

Photo via &pizza/Facebook

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Morning Notes

Early voting begins for June 8 Democratic primary — “Early voting will begin on April 23 for the June 8 Democratic primary election in the City of Alexandria. The ballot includes contests for Virginia Governor;Lieutenant Governor; Attorney General; House of Delegates (45th District); Mayor and City Council.” [Zebra]

Alexandria to renovate baseball field near Mount Vernon Community School — “The project is scheduled to begin Monday, April 26  and work will occur Monday through Friday from approximately 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Work is planned for the restoration of approximately 39,600 square feet turf. This includes the installation of irrigation. The work area will be closed to the public during the installation period.” [Zebra]

Bradlee-King Street road changes could be paused for resident input — “Earlier this year, the City of Alexandria planned to apply for a grant to fund significant changes along Upper King Street, including new bike lanes, narrowed car lanes, dedicated bus lanes and fewer left turns into a popular shopping center. Now, that grant application for the 0.5-mile stretch on King Street outside Bradlee Shopping Center may be put on hold as city officials go back to get resident input and make more specific plans for the roadway to meet expectations from the Virginia Dept. of Transportation (VDOT).” [Alexandria Living]

Church donates gift cards to elementary school families in need — “On Tuesday, March 23, 2021 Lazarus Ministry at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church informed ACPS that they will be donating $5,400 for the purchase of gift cards for families in need at William Ramsay Elementary School.” [ACPS]

Titan volleyball team going to state championship — “T.C. Williams (16-0) advanced to the first state championship game in program history, which it will host Friday or Saturday.” [Washington Post]

Today’s weather — “Generally sunny despite a few afternoon clouds. High near 65F. Winds W at 10 to 15 mph… Mainly clear (in the evening). Low 41F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New job: Dog groomer — “Join us at A Dog’s Day Out in Van Dorn! We passionately deliver a great dog experience composed of play, affection, and socialization – all in a safe, friendly, and clean environment. We offer doggie daycare, boarding, and grooming for dogs of all shapes and sizes who play nicely and want to hang with the gang.” [Indeed]

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Alexandria Police are investigating smash-and-grab incidents at three ABC stores that occurred at night on August 25 and 26.

“We have had three instances of ABC stores burglarized,” APD spokesman Lt Courtney Ballantine told ALXnow. “All high end liquor. Fairfax (County) has had similar incidents.”

The following stores were broken into after hours.

Ballantine said that there are multiple suspects and no descriptions are available.

As previously reported, there has been a 12% increase in the number of larcenies in the city this year. A surge in violent incidents in Old Town has also prompted APD to increase their presence on the street.

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Morning Notes

Sugar Shack to Be Replaced — “Alexandria’s Sugar Shack Donuts will change to Elizabeth’s Counter this spring, with a wider menu and new focus… The donut shop at 904 N. Henry St. will become a bakery, vegetarian-influenced café and coffee shop. While Elizabeth’s Counter will have donuts, sugary goodness will not be not the focus.” [Alexandria Living]

B&C Jewelers Closing — “B&C Jewelers, one of the oldest retailers in Alexandria, Virginia, is closing at the end of April. B&C Jewelers opened in 1953 as an original tenant at the Bradlee Shopping Center at 3660 King St. It is the last original tenant there. ‘I feel like it is time to go. It is the end of our lease,’ owner Vicki Forness told WTOP.” [WTOP]

Alexandria Housing Costs Fourth-Highest in Region — “The city of Falls Church zoomed past the District of Columbia to be the local jurisdiction where home-buyers spent more, per square foot, than anywhere else in January. The median per-square-foot cost of $453 for Falls Church property for the month was up 13 percent from a year before, while the $449 recorded in Washington was down 7.2 percent… Arlington placed third, up 9 percent to $399 per square foot, while the city of Alexandria was fourth, up 1.2 percent to $346.” [InsideNova]

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The Safeway near the King/Braddock/Quaker intersection and the Bradlee Shopping Center was robbed early this morning morning, according to police.

Police spokesman Lt. Courtney Ballantine said the robbery took place around 3 a.m. at the Safeway at 3526 King Street.

The earlier police activity around the supermarket has since dissipated, but police are still investigating the robbery. Ballantine said cash was taken from the store by a knife-wielding robber.

No injuries were reported, police said. No other details about the robbery or the suspect were immediately available.

Photo via Google Maps

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The tables are set and the staff at El Saltado Restaurant and Carryout (3616 King Street) say it’s just about ready to open in the Bradlee Shopping Center.

The restaurant is replacing the Hong Kong Bistro on the east side of the shopping center. The restaurant will serve Peruvian food, though the website listed in flyers outside the restaurant still contains mostly placeholder descriptions and generic photos of food.

El Saltado has also filed for a permit to serve alcoholic beverages.

Staff working at the restaurant said it is planned to open sometime next week. Signs in the window say the restaurant is still looking to hire:

  • Line cooks and helpers
  • Dishwashers
  • Order attendants
  • Drivers
  • A manager

Applicants are requested to apply in-person.

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A new Bank of America location is coming to the Bradlee Shopping Center in Alexandria.

The space at 3690G King Street was previously home to Queen Bee Designs, a local jewelry designer store that had a pop-up location there until June this year.

Staff at another Bank of America location said the Bradlee Shopping Center location will be a full bank that will likely open sometime later this year, but the company is still working through some final permits. The employee said a kiosk for the ATMs will open before the full branch location does.

There are currently two other Bank of America locations in Alexandria, one in Old Town at 600 N. Washington Street and one at 2747 Duke Street.

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